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Crowdfunding a Second Chance
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Crowdfunding a Second Chance

When the Comptons’ house burned down just a week before Christmas last year, the family realized how difficult it would be to piece their lives back together. While Brittany Compton, her husband James, and their two sons escaped the fire uninjured, all their possessions were gone, and with no renters’ insurance, they knew it would take forever to replace all they had worked so hard for.

Seeing their desperation, Brittany’s brother set up a crowdfunding campaign on the site GoFundMe. Within hours, family members, friends, and complete strangers had donated $5,000. That number didn't stop there: the campaign ultimately raised over $21,000, helping the family get back on its feet and have truly happy holidays that year.

Brittany was so heartened by the crowdfunding campaign’s success that she decided to give back some of the money by buying strangers coffee or groceries. Recently, the family decided to pay the donations forward in another way – by creating a free crowdfunding platform called Funding Chances, which launched several weeks ago.

As the name suggests, the philanthropic platform is for funding a second chance, just like the Comptons got. While there are a number of platforms like it out there, Funding Chances believes it distinguishes itself by charging no fees for its services.

Most crowdfunding platforms tend to charge between four and nine percent for hosting a crowdfunding campaign, and payment processing companies take around two to three percent on top of that. GoFundMe, for example, takes a five percent cut, with another 2.9 percent going to WePay (plus 30 cents per transaction). The Comptons wound up with around $19,500 of the total amount they raised.

Funding Chances will review all campaign submissions to help prevent fraudsters from conning dollars out of charitable folks. Though the platform launched only a few weeks ago, it already has a successful campaign under its belt, having helped a family pay hospital bills after a four-year-old boy was injured.

While a fee-free philanthropic crowdfunding platform may not be sustainable in the long run without outside funding, it certainly makes sense. A number of platforms, for example, waived their fees for hurricane Sandy relief efforts, as did PayPal. Perhaps, a corporation or an organization will decide take this one step further and volunteer to financially back a platform specifically geared toward helping the less fortunate. 

With the holidays around the corner, a number of philanthropic and feel-good crowdfunding platforms have been popping up recently. Check out a few of the newcomes here.

This article was updated on December 7th with more accurate figures from the Comptons' crowdfunding campaign.

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